Category Archives: Violence against Women

Care Boxes in the local paper

careboxes careboxes

Thanks to everyone who helped making this possible.

We delivered care boxes to 6 different district magistrate courts and helped many under aged victims of abuse in testifying at court.

Sorry for my short posts. I am busy writing reports for my students at preschool most of them will enter formal school next year. I will keep you posted on our preschool concert and everything!

Advertisements

New Comfort Boxes for Child Abuse Survivors

IMG-20141110-WA0003_resizedYes, the road to recovery is a long one. Yes, a box full of helpful comforting items is just a tiny stepping stone on that long road of healing.  but it is an important one, as this box aids the young children’s capacity to testify in the Magistrate court against their abusers.

You probably are already familiar with the high child abuse statistics in the Limpopo Province South Africa, where every 3 min a child is raped.

Listen to this letter of the Intermediary at the Magistrate court, Salome Phaho,  in which she wrote me this morning: (the style reflects the local tone of communication in South Africa)

“Beloved am delighted to hear we receiving new boxes again, am already jumping with the joy of the Lord which has given me strength. I am already looking forward to welcome those victims knowing they will receive full support and comfort from the Lord through those gifts.

I am amazed by the love you have for the vulnerable which to many whose eyes of understanding the Lord haven’t  yet enlightened,  the story still remains the “same”, they should have been careful enough or could have prevented it somehow and you ask yourself but how since some victims are hardly a year old.” 

She refers to the care boxes I am making up with the help of friends and church members.

20141110_134747_resizedWe will be handing out about 30 -40 more boxes soon of the value of 70 -100 Rand each.

It generally is a big struggle to get child abuse cases to trial, as the young girls are being shamed and not supported by the local culture, as you could read in the letter above.  Also, at court the young abuse survivors face many challenges. Long hours of waiting, having never met their intermediaries before, testifying, often 3 hours of cross examinations are just a few of the challenges.

20141110_130032_resized

Often the girls and boys (we make special boxes for boys too) will be too shy and close up totally so their testimony can not be validated and subsequently the case cannot go into trial.

I came up with the method of using care boxes to help the children relax. The box contains a new, cute stuffed toy to immediately help the intermediary form a connection with the child. The box contains a high quality fruit juice and some snacks to help keep the child alert during a long and hard trial. Furthermore there are crayons, colouring books and sticker activities to help the children bridge times where the court is in recess or formalities need to be followed up with, which can talke an hour or more.

boxesOn Sunday November 9 we had a court staff member testify in our church on the huge impact these boxes have in calming the children, how they can hold on to their toy and how their concentration has improved. The court also uses the crayons and colouring books to help verify if the child understands the concepts of truth and lie which is essential to the testimony being accepted in court.

The juices and snacks are so important as the children often come hungry and tire quickly during trial.

I am so thankful we can hand out these boxes as a powerful tool to court staff who can connect and communicate easier with the children that way.

 

I am thankful to everybody who brought a teddy, snacks, crayons, stickers or money to make this possible.

All boxes contain a message saying: You are special!

special

Our youth expressing themselves against abuse

Fighting the rape epidemic in South Africa
Our young dancers have started work on a dance drama Jan Venter and I developed a while ago, and I am positive this is going to be instrumental in raising awareness in young men and women that we’re all responsible to intervene and prevent abuse!
check my post about the topic here.
So thankful for our youth worker Jan Venter to give our town’s youth a shot at expressing themselves for a good cause!

 

Thank you from the courts

IMG_5225
Intermediary Salome Phaho and myself when I handed R 4000 worth of comfort over to the court. Yeah, sorry we had no professional camera with us, just cell phones. But that’s exactly it – helping is gritty and not about looking pretty right?

Thank you from the courts

Today I received this letter from the intermediary for child witnesses and victims of sexual crimes at the Magistrate Court in Sibasa about how our Comfort boxes now are helping even children in the Musina court:

Good Afternoon Mam,blessed be God and the Father of our Lord Jesus who causeth us to triumph through Christ!

I am simply excited for the foundation that has been laid because for this vision to manifest like this means Victory!

My colleagues Nthabiseng Dzhivhani has just given out a 12-15yrs box yesterday @ Musina and I heard the girl couldn’t put it down.

This project is really working as I realized that most kids come dejected and rejected with little or no support from parents or relatives as if they chose to be victims.

But when they find LOVE in that little box is like their WORLD has suddenly changed as they understand that irrespective of what happened and how they feel and what others take them for, there’s still HOPE in life because someone out there loves them and care about them so much.

DSC02559Thank you once again Woman of God for your heart for souls.

Pass my regards to Pastor

Salome Phaho

So wonderful to hear about those boxes really making a difference in children’s lives.

Of course I cannot post details about the children involved, but share some photos of the people who work with the children and pictures of the court:

DSCN0137
The ladies working with the children who come to testify in court.
DSCN0140
the entrance to the court room
DSCN0143
the tiny space available for children to wait for their court hearing. Our boxes make it so much more comforting for them.

Going to court

specialIn my work as a pastor and counselor at Emmanuel Church Louis Trichardt and headmistress of Emmanuel Kinderland preschool I have come to work with many people who themselves were survivors of abuse or came on behalf of a close friend or relative who had suffered through sexual abuse and rape.

As you are well aware of South Africa has a devastatingly high rate of rape, wikipedia talks about the highest rape rate in the world.

The SAPS statistics report that

There were 64,514 sexual offenses reported to the police in South Africa in 2012 alone of which over 45% percent where child rapes.

However, variable reports claim that only 1 in 9 or 1 in 25 rapes actually get reported

This means that the numbers could actually run up to 1,548,336 rapes every year

This means that someone is raped as often as every 4 minutes

Interpol has named South Africa the “Rape Capital of the World”

Extrapolating from the statistics, 1 in 3 South African women will be raped in their lifetime.

2 out of 5 South African male learners say they have been raped according to a survey carried out in 1200 schools across the country (Published in Biomed Central’s International Journal For Equity in Health)

The greatest increase in sexual crimes is against infants and children under the age of seven (Rape Statistics South Africa & Worldwide 2011 www.rape.co.za)

50% of South Africa’s children will be abused before the age of 18.

85% of them will be by perpetrators known to the child.

It is crucial that perpetrators will be identified and severely punished.

ippWhen predators get away with it, it will happen again and again. 40%percent of South African men have raped for the first time when they were under aged themselves. Why is it possible? Cases do not get to court and when they do, it can mean a potentially traumatizing experience to the child and the family.

Most rapists are serial rapists. Seeing them severly punished for their crime acts as a deterrent for other potential rapists while every one that “gets away” is per implication an encouragement in his social circles to others to keep doing the same.
There are so many facets where we need to be involved in to start preventing these crimes. We are running self defense classes, teach parents awareness as 85% of the crimes are committed by someone within the social circles of the child, but you as the justice department are playing a most crucial part in this.

We as church and community need to do our utmost to make the conditions for survivors testifying as bearable as possible.

10001333_10203226550370024_1539913614_n

I am asking church members, parents of our preschool and community members to assist in putting together comfort boxes for children testifying in court, as these parcels can provide a minimum of comfort to a child in such a stressful situation.

The children who are brave enough to relive the crime to help that justice can be served each will receive a care box containing a fruit juice, a snack, a new soft toy, a mini book and some stickers to keep themselves busy, relieve some stress, feel cherished and be comforted from this unpleasant setting.

All items are all new and the fruit juice and snack are high quality. The box is closed with a sticker (picture provided) that says you are special and indicates whether the box is for a boy or a girl.

Thanks for your interest, and may this result in fruitful cooperation in service to these youngest of victims.

The first boxes went to court this week with Magistrate Hanlie Kellerman. Please help me to help the children.

Heavenly minded

I do not know about you, but sometimes I feel like the prophet Asaph:

Psa 82:1-8 A Psalm of Asaph.

God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment: “How long will you judge unjustly and show partiality to the wicked? Selah. Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute. Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

They have neither knowledge nor understanding, they walk about in darkness; all the foundations of the earth are shaken. I said, “You are gods, sons of the Most High, all of you; nevertheless, like men you shall die, and fall like any prince.”

Arise, O God, judge the earth; for you shall inherit all the nations!

Here in South Africa, I often drive by shockingly pompous places like this one which is a game auctioning facility where buck are sold at astronomical prices:

Antique furniture imported from Belgian castles decorates game breeders offices and the antelope lodge in amazing architecture. No problem at all, everyone do as they enjoy.

On the other hand I am faced daily with the lack of appropriate educational facilities and the most basic of provision for people. In South Africa, 10 % of all 0-4 year olds are malnourished, according to UNICEF 84 percent of South African children do not have any access to educational stimulation before they start grade 1.

Our magistrate courts have no facilities for the hundreds of victims of child rape they process every year, those poor children have to sit next to the perps in court.

Yesterday a boy drowned in a school toilet in a rural area that was basically just a long drop.

We labor hard and sometimes it hurts, to be nothing in the eyes of the great and mighty who so easily could make a tremendous difference.

Being measured by the size of your car and the interior deco of your home can wear down the most spirited fighter over time. So that’s why I share this bible verse with you, because I strongly believe that this world is not everything.

love-island-art-wide

The kindness you share here, the compassion and love, will carry over to the next world, where God will make up for all the unrighteous mocking. I believe Mother Theresa will be a royal princess there!

Currently I am in the process of collecting, buying and making educational material to be taken to the Tsilidzini Special School next week. We need Montessori materials to count, weigh, feel, etc which can be sent directly to the Emmanuel Church where I am working.

I am also trying to purchase 360 waterproof mattresses for the boarding school kids at the Special school as bed wetting seems a major problem.

As to the rape victims: the state of social services regarding under aged rape victims is saddening and really typical for Limpopo, where the triage of services is not working as effectively as in other provinces.

I am handing out the very informative Rape Response protocol posters by the Viva organization at own costs to be put up at public places as to inform women of what they can and should do in the unfortunate event of rape.

If you are interested in the report, pls send me your email address. I am also in the process of putting together these parcels for the young victims: Out of years of experience in a South African setting my friend at Viva suggests a soft toy, a chocolate bar, kiddies juice, a hoodie or cap to feel safe in and maybe something to colour in or sticker activity to have an outlet for nervousness.

NGOs are the ones doing all the little steps to help where the need is greatest. Do not give up your good work, everybody!

Find more information in the discussion below.

To know a woman – a plea for love 2

Even as an eleven year old I was a fierce believer in true love. Love, the kind that takes time to grow, requires mutual attraction and respect, is a mystical force of nature as well as a rare and timid air reserved for unforeseeable moments, in short, love as a form of art.

I was blessed enough to grow up in an environment that let me be a child, slowly discovering for myself what I want in life and also, how I would want to be loved. Nobody forced their own ideals on me. This is something I am fighting for, that kids can be kids and girls are left to grow up peacefully into the women THEY want to be.

Through my love of literature and all things creative I kept coming back to the human race’s eternal search for answers on how to attain and maintain love’s sweet and fierce spirit.

One author I came to love is Alexandre Jardin. In “Fanfan” he asks the question how can wekeep falling in love, and keep the suspense, the joy of learning how to win over the beloved person’s heart, without ever becoming complacent of each other.

This is a book I would immediate make required reading for all grade 11’s in South Africa. In a country where we are casually talking about “rape culture” the art of devoting one’s entire time, energy and creativity into really getting to know the loved person and very slowly and thoughtfully, yet nevertheless intensely, winning their love, might seem so foreign as the sound of a violin to a cave man. FanFan is a passionate french love story, a little bit crazy and over the top made in a movie with Sophie Marceau.  Books like this are very well able to trigger some new thinking in our South African kids about what love and friendship can be like, and I think that’s much more important brainfood than accounting.

Valentine’s day is big in South Africa. Again the silly pressure mounts to on this very day prove one’s love and devotion by purchasing useless trinkets, wasting money on hideous cards … you get the picture.

Of course, those of you who are “cultured” enough to even bother reading someone’s blog are probably far above that.

If you happen to have a woman in your life who you love and cherish, you are blessed.

To me, a woman represents all that is good and precious in this world.

Her ever present ability to love, her awesome ability to create and nourish life, her innate creativity and grace, should make her the cherished and highly valued asset of every society. Instead women all over the world are being oppressed, taken advantage of, belittled, victimized. Why is that? Only a lesser man would feel the need to destroy beauty because he feels threatened by it. True strength is shown through the ability to love, protect and cherish.

I hope you are one of those rare love artists, who have devoted part of their life to learn how to love and keep love growing.

Know a woman.

By this I mean, do not know what YOU think a woman should be like, but KNOW the woman.

I told my South African husband that women are not born wanting to cook and sew and look after babies. Women are born as individuals, human beings with very different dreams and hopes. Loving a woman does not mean buying and bunch of roses so she might be a contend housekeeper for another year.

Loving a woman means finding it fullfilling if walking with her at the beach sharing thoughts of the heart would be all you would ever do …

Know the woman you are with, and show her that her heart is pleasing to you.

That is a life long art to be studied.

Dont give this up. The world around is is rough, evil, destructive. It takes a new kind of gentleman and knight to stand against a sea of ever increasing violence. By opposing those who try to take by force what should be given as a grace, maybe you can end the invasion of evil. The ability to love a lady is a beautiful measure for the depth of soul of a society.

Christiane

Bringing back civilisation – a plea for love 1

“To get to a woman’s heart, a man must first use his own.”

~ Mike Dobbertin

My previous blog posts attempted to inform on the topic of the South African rape crisis, a very real, very shocking and frightening problem in our country.

Following the discussion on twitter I have observed both the need to focus stricter laws and convictions with harsher sentences for sex offenders and rapists as well as asking the question why do men in SA rape that much. Quoting Wikipedia here:

One in three of the 4,000 women questioned by the Community of Information, Empowerment and Transparency said they had been raped in the past year.[38]

South Africa has some of the highest incidences of child and baby rape in the world.[39] In a related survey conducted among 1,500 schoolchildren in the Soweto township, a quarter of all the boys interviewed said that ‘jackrolling’, a term for gang rape, was fun.[38] More than 25% of a sample of 1,738 South African men from the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape Provinces admitted when anonymously questioned to raping someone; of those, nearly half said they had raped more than one person, according to a non-peer reviewed policy brief issued by the Medical Research Council (MRC).[40] Several news publications extrapolated these results to the rest of the South African population.[41][42][43] The humanitarian news organization IRIN claims that an estimated 500,000 rapes are committed annually in South Africa, ….[43]

More than 67,000 cases of rape and sexual assaults against children were reported in 2000 in South Africa.[44] Child welfare groups believe that the number of reported incidents represents merely a fraction of the actual number of incidents.[44]

A belief common to South Africa holds that sexual intercourse with a virgin will cure a man of HIV or AIDS.[44] South Africa has the highest number of HIV-positive citizens in the world. According to official figures, circa 11% of South Africans are infected with the virus.[45] Edith Kriel, a social worker who helps child victims in the Eastern Cape, said: “Child abusers are often relatives of their victims – even their fathers and providers.”[44]

This is shocking information, especially in a Valentins post.

But we do live in a shocking world, where love seems to have lost it’s appeal.

This is why tonight I want to bring us back to the beauty of a love relationship and want to plea that we do not allow the downward spiral of sexual violence in our society to continue.

The second law of thermodynamics states that the entropy of an isolated system never decreases, because isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium—the state of maximum entropy. Equivalently, perpetual motion machines of the second kind are impossible.

Which in other words means, if we do not put active, conscious, calculated effort into the system we are in, everything will move down to the smallest common denominator.

Which is what we are having in South Africa. The other day I walked by a news stand, and a papers front page was a headline: Increasing numbers of African fathers having sex with their daughters, and in the article itself it said that in their “culture” they believe they are entitled to show their daughters that this is how “sex happens”.

I should have bought the paper and written a flaming letter to the editors. I will not ever let the fact that I am in town with two nagging toddlers prevent me from getting this kind of evidence and doing something about it, that’s for sure.

Since when is a crime okay because of “culture”? People of South Africa I am sick and tired of you telling me this lame culture excuse as soon as we face a clash of moral values. In the past we could quote the bible which forbids incest and any form of sex with anybody other than your wife, today we are told that is “politically incorrect”. Well, while we seem to have no human rights defending law that is applicable for all SA citizens I will not refrain from quoting my good old bible as some form of basic civil agreement.

For a deeper view why the bible historically founded today’s understanding of justice and order, read lawyer and political commentator Alan Dershowitz’s excellent book:2000: The Genesis of Justice: Ten Stories of Biblical Injustice that Led to the Ten Commandments and Modern Law. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-446-67677-9. (one of the funnest reads on the subjects if I may add).

In South Africa it is currently okay to have more than one wife (our president does) as long as you can prove it is your culture. That’s also why we tip toe that much around issues like lobola (paying for a woman’s hand in marriage), which often is negotiated by needy parents or mothers selling their under aged daughters away without their consent.

I want to advocate a South Africa with one legal system for all. There is no going back to a glorified past, like all civilized nations we should strive for a future where every human beings rights are protected, and man and women are treated equal.

We need a reform of our education system. The above quoted “jack rolling”, a practice of gang rape started in the Soweton ghettos during Apartheid, was initially an attempt of young African males to prevent young females to succeed in completing their education.

Read more about jack rolling here

and about it’s objective of hindering young women’s social climb Here

I have blogged about the need of an education reform in South Africa

Education

and want to underline tonight that only an educated heart can truly understand the art of love.

This is what essentially sets the human apart from an animal. We do not follow our immediate instincts and urges. (I found this amazing in some of the links shared on twitter, explaining rape with men’s “combustible sexuality” that apparently can not keep their needs under control … well obviously they can in other nations that have a far, far lower rape rate than South Africa. Which then would naturally open the stage to the provocative question: Do men in all nation have the same mental capacity? If you say yes, and you mean by that that we are all the same, then this would bind you to the conclusion that we very well can and MUST expect the same restraint, self control and moral code of all men in all nations, and “but it’s our culture” must be outlawed as an excuse for criminal behavior. Feel free to think it through, quote and reblog please).

An educated mind feels much more the need for a soul mate, a life companion, and mutuality in a love relationship.

What would go through someone’s mind who grew up with an appreciation for literature, arts, history and other civilization benefits seeing the picture below?

Now what would your average gangster think? Don’t even want to go there, right?

Let not beauty be stolen, the potential to love be destroyed and all that’s good and beautiful in this world be raped because good people did nothing until it was too late.    – Chris van Heerden –

Education also teaches discipline, practice, self control. A child learns taking turns, considering others, sharing and empathy in a good preschool. A good school should wake up inquisitive minds, challenge reasoning and also teach self control as a means to achieve higher levels.

Are our schools doing that, when even a simple task jsut as text book delivery seems too difficult for our highly paid minister of education?

I listened to education reform activist Louise van Rhynns speech on the state of education in our nation and want to share this with you tonight.

This is a call to wake up, and get involved. If you do not want raping gangs of young men in our streets who have never even though about finding true love, who posses no discipline or skill of making a career for themselves let alone truly winning a soul mate and creating a respectful, happy and functional family, then consider the correlation between men’s ability to think and men’s ability to love., I plead with you, get involved changing our nations way of thinking.

Step up and Step in: how can we fight rape in SA?

Hi Bloggers and Friends,I must say I have really had it with all the excuses going on in the country as if abuse of children, women and even men is just a thing of culture. It is not and I am just not going to put up with it anymore.
Today I sat with our churches Youth guys and we are now choreographing a hip hop musical drama including a short talk by a hunky good looking African guy (head boy nogal) about why rape is just wrong. Keep reading this post to get a glimpse at our first attempts on putting the Hip Hop message together!
I have also arranged for trauma counsellor Barbara Louw to come and teach all our cell leaders and volunteers about how to respond to  trauma and how to start the healing process.
IMG_1475 - CopyFurthermore I am pursuing a high impact Self Defense course to run for the whole community, partially sponsored by the church.
I know the big cities have more resources and access to talented volunteers but probably also a higher bureaucracy and protocol threshold.
I do not want to wait till a super polished show comes to our rural areas, so I am going to put together something right now.
And how urgent is the call for equipped trauma counselors in a nation where every third girl under 18 has been subjected to rape or abuse.
Smart talks, brochures or even handing out condoms at schools do nothing to stop the out of control spiral of sexual violence amongst the youth of our country.
I had the great privileged talking and brainstorming with Jaco and Philippa Booyens from www.afteredenpictures.com  who are
currently busy producing the 8 Days movie raising awareness about sex trafficking.
Africa’s medium is music and dancing, and we need to use those tools to expose the “rape apes” for what they are, and to bring civilian courage back so the “good kids” do not look the other way but get involved helping and taking a stand against abuse.
IMG_0112
Talking to youth to please NOT look the other way when they suspect abuse is happening.

Really, it is partially the good neighbours who allow this by looking away.

 

Between 77% and 83% of rapes are committed by someone that is a trusted friend or family member.

South Africa was currently rated by Interpol as the world’s no. 1 rape capital, a woman raped every 17 seconds. That is bad enough but according to the Medical Research Council, more than one in four minors experience physical violence at home daily or weekly and more than one third of girls have experienced sexual violence before the age of 18. Its study also states that 40% of all victims who reported rape to the police were under 18 and 15% were under 12 years old.

Another issue with sexual violence against minors in South Africa is the sexual abuse and harassment that is reported to occur in schools by teachers and other students.

back! 005
Rural Limpopo children are currently the most vulnerable population group in our nation.

According to the Human Rights Watch, girls from all levels of society and ethnic groups have been subjected to sexual violence at school in bathrooms, empty classrooms, dormitories, and more.

Police, prosecutors, and social workers have also complained that many incidents of sexual violence in schools are not reported to them because schools often prefer to deal with it internally, thus hindering justice against the perpetrators. The danger of sexual violence in schools has created a barrier for girls to seek education. HRW also reported that South African girls’ school performance suffers after an incident of sexual violence.

I passionately suggest that churches, instead of dancing around with Shofar around a golden ark etc(sorry, something that as a foreigner found quite strange in some SA conventions), unite their volunteer talents and work to produce some kind of Anti Rape, pro humanity, pro values show that could go on tour in SA, or at least in just in their respective communities.

Indifference is a crime just as murder itself. If the church does not step in, I wonder what today’s youth will be like tomorrow.

If we stay quiet, this becomes a habit of our nation, habit forms character – silence just affirms evil. Evil becomes routine. That is NOT my and NOT your South Africa.

Do not look away. Get involved. BE the fathers that protect, the role models, the champions of those girls around you, and STEP IN.
A nation that proclaims to have 85% Christians in its population should cry out in Shame at those statistics.
Andries and I are definitely busy addressing this issue with African pastors as well.
I am totally convinced that we all underestimate the potential of our churches in tackling the rape problem in South Africa.
Yes, 85% of South Africans call themselves Christians and one third of girls under 18 are raped.
That means rapists attend churches and listen to a lot of bla bla, it means church goers know and befriend rapists and say NOTHING and do not step in.
So we need to work together with all churches especially in rural areas to address the problem, outlaw it, mark it as beastly, threaten with eternal hell and legal actions, and make it every christians first and foremost duty to protect the girls, boys, women and even men around them from becoming crime victims.
The call must be step up and step in!!!!

Down with the Rape Apes

Sorry for the phony title, but the whole topic stinks so much that I really do not have the nerve thinking of a better headline right now.

South African 17-year-old dies of gang-rape injuries
Wed, Feb 06 12:03 PM EST

By Ed Cropley

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – A 17-year-old South African girl died of injuries inflicted in a gang-rape at the weekend, provoking rare outrage on Wednesday in a country inured to some of the world’s highest levels of sexual violence.

The victim had been sliced open from her stomach to her genitals and dumped on a building site in the town of Bredasdorp, 130 km (80 miles) east of Cape Town, the Cape Argus newspaper reported.

The victim identified one of her attackers before she died, it said. Hospital staff who battled to save her life were given counseling because of the horrific nature of her injuries.

The case has echoes of the gang-rape and murder of a 23-year-old student on a New Delhi bus that has triggered huge protests in India against endemic anti-female violence.

The Bredasdorp murder is unlikely to provoke such a large-scale outpouring of anger in South Africa, where women’s groups say rape has lost the power to shock.

“It is difficult to find reason behind the many different acts of gang rape, child rape, rape of the elderly, corrective rape and male rape,” the Women’s League of the ruling African National Congress said in a statement.

“Men and women need to join hands around this issue and fight this epidemic together. The Women’s League and a few women’s NGOs can no longer be the lone voices crying out against rape.”

South Africa’s statistics agency concluded in 2000 that it had the highest reported rape rate of all 120 Interpol member countries. Even when suspects are caught, only 12 percent of cases end in conviction.

Sexual crimes rarely spark media outrage.

One rare exception was when seven men aged between 14 and 20 went on trial last year for raping a mentally handicapped 17-year-old girl and recording it on a cell-phone video that later went viral. The case is continuing.

Even then, the incident spurred little beyond some soul-searching editorials and anguished radio phone-ins.

(Additional reporting by Stella Mapenzauswa; editing by Andrew Roche)

Read another article HERE

During our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light. SA our reaction to rape and murder decides our future destiny.

As you can see I am adding pictures of INDIAN protesters. It seems, and media reporters voice this, that South Africa stays indifferent to these horrible crimes committed to their women and children. Just last week the Sowetan featured a story of a 13 year old girl suffering from Epilepsy being sold as a child bride to a Limpopo Sangoma.

In South Africa we have learned to to lift our voice never too loudly lest it might be interpreted as “intolerance” because incidents as the sold underaged bride are often excused with “but it is our culture”. In my eyes it is not a far shot from staying silent at the trafficking of an underaged girl to a “traditional healer” to creating a system where young men grow up believing women are there for the picking, resulting in gang rapes, resulting in agonizing death.

Helloo, wake up, somebody.

This one is painfully close to our doorstep. I am honest, I cried my eyes out when the news broke about the India rape. I cannot help but picture brutality of this incident, and am deeply shaken by it. The protests of these thousands and thousands of brave men and women was comforting.

But I am crying even harder at this one. Indifference is worse than hate, its a crime in itself. Uniting South Africa seems to be much harder than uniting India. All too long have we, under the mantle of shame because of our appalling history of Apartheid, felt we need to tread lightly around “cultural” issues. The different “treatment” of women in different ethnic groups within SA has even been legalized by the government allowing a Muslim or a tribal chief the “right” to all “take” several wives, while a white Christian would find himself in serious trouble should he be polygamistically inclined.

Now wait a moment. Do we strive to become a beacon of light to the rest of Africa and the world? What about that sweet BBC documentary “South Africa’s Path to Freedom” presenting us as such a fine example of reconciliation instead of hate?

I must say the statistics of Interpol rating South Africa’s the world’s RAPE CAPITAL, a women being raped EVERY 17 SECONDS rings in stark contrast to that in my ears.

Have we attempted freedom at all cost, letting weeds grow unchecked until they become a forest so twisted and thick that it is unmanageably deadly?

“Culture”can not be blamed for the way fathers raise their sons to treat women. We are not disconnected from the rest of the world, we have to adapt an international mindset.

And no, human trafficking is NOT okay, paying money for sex or marriage with woman of any age but ESPECIALLY under-aged girls must be severely penalized and RAPE needs to be publicly condemned in the sharpest ways and punished, no bail, no excuses.

Furthermore we need to wake up and understand that all SA’s problems are linked. If our government keeps its people ignorant, by building mansions with tax money while 123 learners have to share one classroom, http://kasieconomics.wordpress.com/2013/01/31/ekasieconomics-the-123-kids/  we must expect more severe problems to come in the future.

To me it is a strong pointer that the rape took place in the Western Cape, where recently many farm workers protested against daily minimum wages of 69 Rand and saw an increase to 129 Rand/day, leading to subsequent loss hundreds of jobs.

Are the farmers to blame, many of whom providing not only the wages but also meals and housing to their workers? Many farmers struggle themselves as it is.

Do we really see ourselves as a low wage country? This equation has long crumbled. A recent discussion at the University of Stellenbosch with German ambassador Andreas Kuehne revealed that South Africa’s products are long not competitive enough for international exports any more. South Africa’s production costs have risen with 134% per unit while European production costs have sunk thanks to higher productivity.

The key lies in #education. We underutilized our potential by keeping a vast part of our citizens in utter ignorance. One skilled, educated laborer can produce more than  15 unskilled ones because of greater foresight, ability to operate machines, less waste and breakage etc etc.

I am tired of hearing there is not enough work for a specialized work force. Listen, there is not enough work for ignorant people who do not care about their employer (burning down the farms that sustain them at awhim, burning libraries, hospitals and trucks), there will not be enough money for piece jobs and day labour anymore. This country produces, but the refinement of our products often happens overseas. A trained work force can keep the refinment of our product in land. Why not become an electronic superpower? Produce world quality foods and export luxury goods en masse instead of importing them?

think with me. Quality education for free for all in first world schools, perfectly trained and equipped teachers …  Educated labour – higher wages, higher buying power in local hands – higher market turn over, even higher income for our dear government, who could then give back into education.

No need to turn to crime. Pressure to perform. Fulfilled life, hope for future… and together we can make rapists extinct.

 

I am brainstorming roughly because I have a day job and two kids and just need to get this ball rolling somewhere! Are you with me?

As soon as my day allowes it I will talk today to other ministries, churches have volunteers and drama teams, we need to go 2 schools #stoprape  with agressive message that RAPE IS NOT EVEN FOR APES, it is wrong and rapists are criminal cowards who WILL be punished by both legal system and society.

Sex excesses, rape and pregnancy are big problems at all SA schools.

Its unacceptable and if we do not tackle it who will.

I am talking with friends to put together a musical drama show to tour schools with to educate that RAPE is wrong.

Comments and input welcome … this mommy needs to go make lunch now.